Thursday, October 21, 2010

Problem Solving

Our district still hasn't managed to work out the extra-curricular after-school program for gifted kids that they'd said they'd put in place, so I've been researching other alternatives that could be volunteer run. I have come across several team problem solving competitions that sound intriguing.
Two of them are international:

Destination Imagination

Odyssey of the Mind

And one is for the state of Illinois:

Future Problem Solving Bowl

There are several things that appeal to me about these programs.

1. It's not school work, but it draws on things kids need to know in school.
2. The problems require multiple skills, which encourages them to work in teams where members have different strengths
3. There's a social component.
4. It sounds really fun.

Does anyone know anything about these programs? I am wondering how difficult they might be to implement at our schools.


LSM said...

I can highly recommend Odyssey of the Mind. DD1 participated for several years (brag warning--her team placed 6th at Worlds one year), and it's a great opportunity for kids to hone their problem-solving skills while getting plenty of experience with working as a team. I especially like that there are both creative and technical components to the problems, and that the organization strictly prohibits "outside" help, i.e. parent participation in the kids' work. Destination Imagination is an offshoot of Odyssey of the Mind. I'm not familiar with Future Problem Solving Bowl.

Eggsaucted said...

Destination Imagination has been a part of her highness' summer program the last two years and was a big hit. I was impressed with some of the results even from the younger kids.

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